According to employment law firm Fisher Phillips LLC, as reported on the plrisk.com blog, 283 federal and state COVID related cases were filed in June, 41 of which were class action suits. 63 were pandemic-related discrimination claims, either alleging workplace discrimination or work from home issues. Workplace claims allege improper termination; work from home claims allege failure to grant legitimate requests for time off. Not surprisingly, most of the claims have been from hot spot states of California, New York and Florida.
Employers must be careful where to draw the line between furloughs and termination. Document files to prove terminations are legitimate and not attempts to use the pandemic as a pretext. There must be clear standards for allowing work from home and time off, and which employees will and won't get their jobs back after reopening.